Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Blog in 3 Parts: The Streak, The Wedding, The Dad

Get ready for a long entry with a lot of pictures! Rather than split this into three separate, short entries, I chose to roll my entire weekend into a single post.
First: The Streak

When I first mentioned I would be trying this streaking business, I conservatively aimed to run 34 of the 39 days. One of my reasons was that in June, I would be traveling for a wedding in Ohio. That wedding was this weekend, and I'm happy to say I ran in spite of it!

We drove, flew, and drove some more Friday, and by the time we were checked into our hotel and had said hello to the hosting family, it was 11pm. Still, I convinced Matt to come with me to the fitness center so I could do a mile. At half an hour to midnight, I ran my day 19 run.
Just in time!
(On the way, the groom's sister passed us in the hall and asked incredulously, "Don't you know it's almost midnight?!")

The next morning, I was up at 7:45am for my day 20 run. It seems fitting that my most challenging days (scheduling-wise) would be the halfway mark of the streak. It also seems fitting that I'm so entrenched in this habit now that I made the runs fit in, no matter my crazy schedule.
If you follow my Instagram, you already know I was so tired on this run that my shirt was inside-out.
If nothing else, isn't the streak about showing ourselves what we can accomplish? That basic concerns and excuses don't have to dictate our decisions?

I am as proud of doing two one-mile runs within 8 hours of each other as I am of any other running accomplishments. For me, a person who is (admittedly) often full of excuses, this is a turning point in my mental toughness (I hope).

Something I thought about this weekend as I've been watching people begin various training plans was that so many people seem to be able to hammer out 6 or 10 miles without a thought. I know I'll get to that point, but even when I was at the peak of my training and was running those distances, they were never easy for me. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not a natural runner, and I run because it takes effort and challenges me every step of the way. But I can't help feeling a little envious of those people who can easily complete their long run without much struggle.

Today, after flying back home, driving around for hours, and returning at 9pm, Matt and I got day 21 in. It was my fastest mile in a really long time.
8:58 pace! The streak lives on!
And Now: The Wedding!

Saturday was wedding day! The groom (and his family) and I go way back, and his parents are friends with my parents, so they got to come along (and foot the bill...Seriously, they are the best people EVER). It was a great excuse to see some family. I haven't been back to Ohio in years! We had lunch with my grandparents before getting ready for the festivities.
1. I love that they are matching. 2. Grandma has the best cane collection.
Here are some gratuitous formal wear shots, because I rarely get to dress up!

With mom, ready to go!
With dad, pre-ceremony!
I wish he wore a suit everyday!
33 years (next month) and counting!
I've known Joey since I was three. We grew up together and were best friends-almost-siblings until I moved out of state when I was 13. We visited each other fairly often, and we have kept in touch all these years.
Yes, people mistook me for a boy ALL THE TIME.
Really examine these costumes; they're funnier every time I see them.
It's the weirdest feeling to watch someone I've known since childhood get married, and now I know how he must have felt when Matt and I tied the knot three years ago. He and Danielle were there to celebrate with us, and it filled me with unspeakable joy to return the favor.
All grown up :o)
Danielle looked gorgeous in a perfectly selected gown, and Joey looked dapper in his gray tux. It was awesome to see old family-friends and catch up with everyone.

I love seeing Matt all dressed up, love dressing up, love love! What's not to love about a wedding? Even better, what's not to love about a marriage built on mutual respect, unwavering devotion, and common dreams and goals? I know these two are in it for the long-haul.
Finally: The Dad
This brings me to my dad. After all, if anyone has taught me anything about how a lasting marriage should work, it's him. And by the time we were home from the festivities, it was Father's Day! He deserves a shout-out.

My dad's not at all the bumbling and well-intentioned sitcom dad you see on TV. He’s not over-protective and doting. My dad is more the “Go on, try it, I dare you” type. My dad can have a prickly exterior and can be hard to get to know. He's a little like Jay from Modern Family: self-made, confident, and blunt. But he's also loyal, stalwart, and ridiculously hilarious.
Stephie and me with dad in Ohio.
I can always count on my dad to humble me, and to encourage me. I owe my good grades and success to him, because I lived for his approval and hated to disappoint him. He's the epitome of success and the American Dream, and his life inspires me. As I posted on Instagram this week, I want to be him when I grow up.
Undergrad graduation
As I get older, I realize how like him I already am. I'm so lucky to have a dad who has been willing to support me - financially and otherwise - and teach me the importance of budgeting, planning, organizing, dedicating yourself to what matters, making wise choices, and having a realistic view of life.

His interest in politics fed my interest in politics. His dry, sarcastic humor shaped my humor. His honesty helped me get over the fear of being honest with others, even if it might mean that not everyone will like me. My dad doesn't sugarcoat anything, and in a way that makes his approval, support, and love even that much more special. I wouldn't trade him for anyone else in the world.

My, how we've grown.
 Thank you for everything, dad. I owe you more than words could ever say.

What's your favorite thing about weddings?
What's the best thing about your dad (or any father-figure in your life)?



  1. Now that's dedication at 11:40 PM! You should win a prize! Love your dress in the wedding... where's it from?

    1. I felt pretty badass, getting the run in that late! I got the dress at TJ Maxx! I love a good bargain :o)

  2. You look gorgeous! And I am very inspired by your keeping to the streak. I have a (non-running) streak of my own going and am seeing what you mean about how keeping to it builds you (and that the activity becomes more and more ingrained as you keep going - exactly what I had been hoping for).

    1. Thank you for the compliment! It's nice to post some pictures where I'm not in running gear lol.

      It's really cool that a commitment to a streak - running or otherwise - really does become self-perpetuating in a way.

  3. I love how sweet and romantic weddings are :) I can't wait for mine ... but I guess I need a guy first ;)
    Congrats on the streak!!!